tv John King USA CNN August 23, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
hall, one of those public safety guys came on the intercom over the bullhorn saying that there had been a tremor, that everything was okay, not to worry. they had things under control. that was the sort of first i became aware. but as i got in the budding people were talking about it but i didn't personally feel anything. >> they make you evacuate the time warner center? >> no, not at all. they were very quick to assure us that the building was safe and solid and there was no reason to evacuate. we kept getting the e-mail from the safety people, so they were all over it. >> all right, good to know. see you tomorrow. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "john king, usa" starts right now. thank you for joining us, i'm candy crowley, john king is off. we're watching three major stories tonight. a rare earthquake in washington, a major hurricane heading for the east coast, and game change in libya. a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the nation's capital at
1:51 this afternoon. trust us on this, it feels a lot more dramatic than these pictures look, but take a look. this was inside the cnn studios as it rocked. in no time at all it seemed like everyone in d.c. was out on the sidewalk overloading cellular networks as they tried to get in touch with friends and family. the quake was centered in virginia, about 88 miles south of washington. people in new england even felt the shaking. now, the east coast is waiting to see where hurricane irene will hit. we'll get an update on that forecast in a little bit, but we want to start with the breaking news, and incredible pictures, out of libya today. in one of the most dramatic developments in the five months since the rebellion started, rebel fighters captured moammar gadhafi's compound in tripoli today. cnn's fred pleitgen joins us now, i know, in fact, you are in benghazi which is headquarters for the rebels and entirely rebel city for some time now. tell me, first, the reaction when word came that the compound
had been invaded, in fact, overtaken by rebel forces. >> reporter: well, candy, it was one of absolute jubilation. that continues until right now. i don't know if behind me you can see that they are setting off fireworks now. there are thousands of people literally here on the main square of benghazi which is actually also the town where the revolution here in libya actually began. it was a town that was under siege for a very long time so people here, of course, very, very happy at the way things are going. now, you said it, this is also the place where the rebels have their headquarters, the transitional council. i was talking to them throughout the better part of the day and they tell me they're not sure where exactly moammar gadhafi is, as you said, they took his compound earlier today. they did, however, not find him or any of his family members in that compound. they believe he might have fled through one of the tunnels that's under the bunker system inside that compound, candy? >> regardless of where he is, it seems fairly clear his
government is finished. what kind of planning is going on in benghazi for what next? because i'm sure you've seen those pictures outof tripoli, it was sheer chaos on the streets with people grabbing guns and ammo out of the gadhafi some pound. who is take i who is taking charge? what are the plans? >> reporter: nomal alnominally e people in charge here. they want to reorganize a large chunk of the operation going on in benghazi and move it over to the libyan capital of tripoli as fast as possible. you mentioned the situation there on the ground where there are still gun battles going on inside that city. they say at this point in time it simply isn't safe enough. the way the agenda is supposed to work out, the first thing they want to do is quiet the streets of tripoli which means defeating the last gadhafi loyalist. then they want to put in place a protection plan for the city and disarm a lot of the militias
inside that city, and then they want to move it and get the political transition going. now, it's not clear whether or not the transitional national council actually has the authority to do that, or whether or not the fighters are going to be willing to follow them, but they say what they want to do is put in place a transitional authority that, then, is supposed to pave the way for democratic transition and ultimately elections here in this country, candy? >> fred, it is not easy to topple a dictator of 40 years, but in some ways it's probably easier than trying to form some sort of government after 40 years of nothing but one man. is there a single person that you see dominant in the plans to replace gadhafi? because lots of times movements and, indeed, obviously governments need one person to kind of look to and rally around, is there that one person among the rebels? >> reporter: no. no, there clearly isn't. i mean, the head of the
transitional national council clearly is someone who many people believe is more of a technocrat who is certainly some who many don't believe will be a long-term leader here for this country. might not be so bad if you are talking about transition authority and someone who does not strive to keep power after that period expires. however, at this period of time, so far no leader has emerged from this movement. and one of the things that we know is there's a lot of factions to this. there's basically three fronts that were happening in this civil war in different parts of libya, and even among those rebel groups there were a lot of different elements in there with a lot of different agendas. so, you're absolutely right, it's going to be a very, very difficult thing to keep this country unified, also in light of the fact that libyans have been shooting at libyans for the past six months, so there's a lot of wounds that still need to be healed, and on top of that, as you said as well, the big problem is for 40 years moammar gadhafi has destroyed any sort of institutions in this country. you are not only talking about
things like political parties and parliaments and the like, things like trade unions and clubs, sports clubs, anything. there's no such thing as any sort of civil society here in this country and that's something that needs to be built from scratch and it will several certainly be a rocky road and those in the transitional council will tell you it needs to be done. >> fred pleitgen from benghazi, a lot of celebration but lots of work ahead. cnn's sara nesidner was in tripoli. let me ask you, where are you? where are you headed? and what's the atmosphere right now? >> we're outside tripoli. we had to move back because there was clearly gunfire that was not celebratory headed towards somewhere inside the gadhafi compound. that was just as the sun was setting. everyone began running. there was a bit of panic there,
you could see the shots straight up in the air, and everyone ran, you could hear bullets coming beside us. it was clearly incoming fire. what we were told afterward as we were getting out of the area from the rebels, that that gunfire was coming from the eastern part of the state there, outside of the compound where rebels had taken control and that it was gadhafi's own forces targeting what was, you know, almost a sacred place for them, the gadhafi compound, his personal space really, a large compound, a facility that most people would never have access to. they were targeting it because the rebels had taken complete control of the compound. it was a change, and for everyone that saw it, really his stronghold, and now it is being targeted by his own people in order to get the rebels out. the rebels still holding that
compound, but a few tense moments there as everyone realized that they were suddenly the target of incoming fire. >> so, the battle continues while the rebels hold control of most of tripoli, not all of tripoli, there are remnants certainly, enough remnants to make trouble and to shoot weaponry that are trying to take some of that back. can this battle ever be finished, do you think, so long as moammar gadhafi is out there somewhere? >> you get the sense today, it's very different from when the rebels first came into the city. at that point there was some celebration. you could see people coming out of their hopes and into the streets. you just saw where we left, people in the streets, walking around, chanting. and we were starting to feel the feeling that people believed that the rebels had taken complete control of the city, i
think, because they were able to get into the compound, but it was really a gesture there and everyone saying, well, if they can to that, then they much have much more control than gadhafi has led them to believe early on. but, you know, i think we have to remember, it is gadhafi's quarters and essential in tripoli, and no one knows where he is. he's still basically, you know, on his own, no one knows where he's housed himself or his family. that is the missing piece of the puzzle that i think will always have some impact on how people handle themselves or feel. but there is a general sense that libya has been sort of taken from the grips of gadhafi, and now it's clearly in the hands of the rebels. will this ever be over? i think it will be. i think the difficulty is going to be how to include everyone in
the next government that goes forward, because people are used to this sort of dictatorial rule. did they like it? many people did not. but the kind of government they've been used to. and we're starting to see a little bit of this strong, sort of military attitude towards trying to get information. as they get more and more powerful, as they see that they're sort of in control of a place, so there really has been a learning curve here, where everyone is involved in trying to form a new government. and the people don't feel afraid because they happen to have supported the gadhafi regime in some way or believed in that regime, so it will be interesting to see that unfold. i think it will take quite a bit of time. >> sara sidner. sara, while you were talking, we were seeing video, some of your amazing work today. thank you, as always, from your colleagues. be careful. and thanks for your reporting. we'll have more on libya later this hour, we'll speak to
a former cia director about how the nation's upheaval affects security here in the u.s. but up next a powerful 5.8 earthquake hits the east coast. we'll have the latest on the massive evacuations and the gridlo gridlock. who cuddle up with your soreness and give out polar bear hugs. technology. [ male announcer ] new bengay cold therapy. the same technology used by physical therapists. go to bengay.com for a 5-dollar coupon. i don't always have time to eat like i should. that's why i like glucerna shakes. they have slowly digestible carbs to help minimize blood sugar spikes, which can help lower a1c. [ male announcer ] glucerna. helping people with diabetes find balance. [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them. cops are cracking down on drinking and riding. drive sober, or get pulled over.
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today's east coaster ere earthquake is the region's strongest in more than a century. it was centered in virginia about 88 miles south of washington. it caused mostly light to moderate damage to buildings and more perhaps to people's nerves. one reason for worry especially after japan's earthquake are the nuclear power plants in the area. 12 plants in 6 states declared unusual events after the quake. the plant closest to the epicenter shut down just like it's supposed to. the north anna power station in virginia is less than 20 miles from the quake's epicenter and both of its reactors shut down like they're supposed to. cnn's brian todd is outside the plant now. brian, they are closely watching that place. >> reporter: they certainly are, candy, both reactors are shut down as you said because of the cutoff of power from the electrical grid to this plant. and that's actually why they declared an alert here rather than an unusual event. an unusual event is the lowest
classification of emergency for a nuclear power plant. this is one step up from that. it's called an alert. the reason they declared an alert was basically because the plant lost offsite power from the electrical grid to this plant, but they assure us that it is now running on backup generator power which can last indefinitely. just a short time ago i spoke to dan stoddard, he's the senior vice president for nuclear operations for dominion nuclear power that runs this plant about the message he wants to convey to the public. what dough y you want to say to general public in the mid-atlantic region about the nuclear power plant so close to the epicenter and their potential safety? >> well, the power plant is safe. the operators responded well. both units are shut down. maintained in safe shutdown condition. there was no release of radioactivity and our focus, as it always is every day we operate these plants, is the safety of the plants, the safety of the personnel that work here and certainly the safety of the personnel in the surrounding community.
>> reporter: now, mr. stoddard did say the plant sustained minor damage and he characterized that as broken glass, damage to the transformers which carry the power out, not the power back in and damage to insulation of some pipes. but he said that's very minor, just some insulation shook off and he characterized this as all very, very minor, no injuries to the personnel here and he says the personnel are very safe. again, the central message here, no leak of radioactivity, candy, no damage to the spent fuel pool or the reactor cooling system here. they're saying everything is pretty much safe right now, but they're monitoring this very closely. >> so far, so good. brian todd, thanks so much. appreciate it. joining us now for some perspective is professor thomas rockwell, he's with the department of geological sciences at san diego state university. professor, thanks for being here. this earthquake was felt from alabama to massachusetts. the last time i felt an earthquake i was out where you are. how rare is it to get this size
of an earthquake on the east coast? >> well, surprisingly, there have been a number of large earthquakes on the east coast in the central u.s. in the last few hundred years during our historical period. perhaps some of the largest were in 1811 and 1812 in the new madrid, missouri, region where there were three regions over magnitude 7, but there have been large earthquakes that shook boston and north carolina that have been notable and quite large. >> and i want folks to take a look at this map we have from the u.s. geological survey, which shows earthquakes in the last week in the u.s. 756 total. that seems like an abnormal amount to me. is that a pretty regular week? >> yeah. there are thousands of earthquakes every year, and most of them we don't feel, but some of them are large enough to feel, and some that would be large enough occur in remote areas. this one happened to have been large enough not only to feel but to cause damage because it
was in a populated area, but not too populated. >> so, the new york mayor, bloomberg, said the bottom line is we are lucky, just talking about how little damage there was. does a 5.8 generally cause -- i realize it's where it strikes, but it did strike in cities, washington, d.c., new york, and other cities along the way. so, is it -- does a 5.8 usually create a lot of damage? >> in california, this would not have produced much damage except to very old structures that had not been retrofitted. you have to keep in mind that the east coast have unreinforced masonry structures. and, in fact, earthquakes of this size can start to do damage to this type of structure, and so the east is not really prepared for earthquakes in the magnitude 5.8 or 6 or higher range and so they can do damage. >> that answers my next question is how well prepared are we. so, are you saying that you think that it would take new
buildings is what you're saying, which is probably not physically real at this point? >> well, you know, the hope is that the older buildings, the ones that can't withstand earthquakes, will be rebuilt perhaps, replace the building stock over the next 100 or several hundred years before such an earthquake occurs. well, obviously in this case we had the earthquake first. in california we have codes that require retrofit of older structures, probably the type that were damaged in this earthquake. and specifically for unreinforced masonry structures, because these do not do well even in moderate earthquakes like this 5.8. but on the east coast, you don't have such codes, and so we're going to have some damage from such earthquakes until the building stock is replaced. >> i want to show our folks as i ask you this last question what it look liked inside one of our studio cameras was operating when the quake came.
again -- actually, this is a security camera that you are looking at and people sort of taking off. at first it felt like a subway rolling through, we're quite near the subway here. but what i'm wondering is, do you see this as a wake-up call for the east coast? could we be looking something to come that could be larger perhaps and more destructive? >> the east coast has an amazingly large number of faults, central u.s. and east coast, but almost all of them are what we consider inactive. the problem is these can become activated. it may be once every 10,000 or 100,000 years and produce such an earthquake. and so, yes, the east coast should be prepared for earthquakes, perhaps not at the same level as california, because we don't expect as many earthquakes back there, but you could have an earthquake. and it could be larger than this one. >> professor tom rockwell out of san diego state university, thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> it's been a pleasure, thank you. still to come --
who are the rebels and what are their future plans for libya? i'll ask former cia director michael hayden next. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. that's good for our country's energy security or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee,
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spoke with reporters at gadhafi's compound. this is from al jazeera. >> translator: now we have conquered the compound. now we feel that we have the victory. now we have to get all together and we have to be united in order to build our country back and live in peace. >> with us now is retired air force general michael hayden, he was the cia director during president bush's second term. libya. so much to talk about. u.s. officials have said they do believe that moammar gadhafi remains in libya. would you agree with that? is that what your gut tells you? >> i would. my instincts are that he's probably in tripoli. he may have slipped out earlier to one of those few cities that still remains loyal to him, sirat or saba, but i think he's in libya. >> and when you -- you and i
spoke in april. we talked a lot about libya at that time. it was a month into the nato mission. you had a lot of questions about the rebels. you asked me, who are they, what are their future plans for libya. do you feel as though the u.s. or the world has any better answer to those questions now? >> we probably do, but i think the questions are still legitimate, and whatever harmony we may have seen when everyone's unified for a purpose, we've got to overthrow this guy. that all begins to erode pretty quickly when he's gone and now you've got a scrum among the opposition as to which faction is really in charge. i've been impressed with some of the leaders, jalil, who we've talked to quite a lot. seems to be a very decent man. he's being asked to do something beyond his own life experience, so he deserves some of our help, us, the arab league, the europeans, but he's got a really tough road to row to hoe, keeping this group nominally together. >> when you look at the scene
we're seeing now, certainly as they've gone into the compound and that kind of wild exubration on the streets but we also saw last night that saif gadhafi was walking free and after we'd been told that he had been captured. how damaging do you think that is to, first of all, the rebels' credibility, second of all, their communication? i mean, something was clearly wrong there. what does it tell you about the rebel faction? >> it does suggest something was wrong. but i don't think it's a mortal or fatal blow to the rebels, their cause or their standing to the west. i mean, all of that is confused. here you've got two factions, neither of which will win any prizes for being well organized. so, you've got the stories coming out, and they turn out to be not true. it doesn't help. but, again, i'm willing to go ahead and be fairly tolerant about this knowing how confused these kinds of situations can really be. >> and they look confused. >> right.
>> you sort of see them play out on tv. >> it really does. >> it's startling. there's been a lot of talk we've heard from intelligence committee members worried about mustard gas, worried about stockpiles, but i've talked to other people going what weapons of mass destruction? what are they talking about? he's fired two scuds in four mon months, you know, he doesn't have anything. can you clear that up for me? >> sure. there are things to be genuinely concerned about. we don't need to overreact. but there are legitimate concerns. let me start with wmd. he reaches this agreement with us and the british in 2003, 2004 begins a program of destruction of his weapons of mass destruction program. we're well along in that, but we're not complete. he still has remnants of his chemical weapons programs available. >> mustard gas. >> mustard gas and things like that. i think it might be fair to judge that none of them are weaponized or at least weaponized in a sense that they could actually be sufficiently used in combat.
>> so, he may have the mustard gas, but no way to deliver it. >> right. but the concern is the raw material and where the raw material might go. so, that's a legitimate concern, but it's not my biggest concern. my biggest concern has to deal with more conventional weapons. and here i'm specifically focused on man pads. manned portable air defense systems like the sa-7. they literally have thousands of those. >> ground-to-air missiles. >> it's ground to air, fairly easily hidden. able to be operated by a single individual. now, just if a few dozens of those walk, go beyond anyone's control, bleed out into global terrorist movements, that constitutes a significant threat to civil aviation. that's what i'm worried about. >> so, they could bring -- a terrorist who said i'll give you "x" amount of dollars if you'll get me one of those things -- >> right. >> -- can bring down planes and that's what you're worried. >> or perhaps a faction of the
groups could transfer those kind of weapons. that's why it's in our interests to strengthen the overall control of the opposition movement, to make this an orderly -- as orderly as possible -- transition of power. because the more you have chaos, the more this is uncontrolled, the higher the odds. and, candy, i really mean this. just a few of these slipping out beyond the leash is really serious. we spent decades in cia trying to account for every stinger missile that we had supplied to the mu sjahadin in the soviet period, and now you have a weapon not as capable but comparable, bleeding out to global terrorist movements. >> do we know, if they can be easily hidden, i'm assuming you could have four here or, you know, six there. i mean, do we know that they're stockpiled somewhere or is this -- >> yes. >> i ask, because we've seen all those guns being, you know,
taken out of the gadhafi compound. >> right. >> could they be in there? >> of course. these are conventional weapons. they're not special weapons. they're not in isolated sites. they're part of the general armories of the libyan government and as they are serially broken into, it creates a concern. >> so, this isn't as, though, okay, let's guard this weapons depot and that weapons depot. this is a matter of how do you even combat that? what does the u.s. do or what does europe do or the arab countries? >> well, you use the best intelligence you have available. you use all the resources at your disposal. you have a pretty good idea of where the stockpiles are. you try to maintain as constant a watch as possible. but most importantly, you try to convince the transitional government to establish control so that they know where these weapons are. >> it sounds like they should do it quickly, though. >> oh, yes. and that's the -- the puzzling part of saif islam wandering through tripoli after he's supposedly been arrested, it's interesting and hurts the
rebels' a bit. we've not reached end game, and it's still spinning, and the longer it spins, the greater damage you have with these kind of events. >> i want to play you something that the u.s. ambassador told cnn and i want to get your reaction. >> sure. >> he should take a very clear message from what has happened in libya, which is that you cannot use force against your own people and expect your people to take it lying down. >> and by "he" she's talking about president assad of syria. is there a lesson for assad in what's going on in libya, or is this, as it's been described to me, kind of a one-off in libya, that assad won't see it? >> it is a bit of a one-off, you have the arab league and the united nations all agreeing on a course of action and i don't think anyone can conceive of that course of action being approved for syria. but what this does show, candy, is that as we started the arab
spring, we had the almost immediate overthrow of two governments, one in tunisia, one in egypt. this has taken six months. it shows that this can happen over a long period of time. so, although i don't see a replication of what we're doing in libya in syria, assad in syria, whoever is in control in yemen, have to look at this and say even though this takes a long time, i can be overthrown. and in that sense, i think assad's got an object lesson here that cannot be at all comforting to him. >> thank you so much, general michael hayden. always appreciated. >> thank you. hurricane irene is taking aim at the caribbean tonight and the u.s. east coast is still in her sights. up next, we'll bring you the very latest on the power storm's predicted path. to keep in balance after 50,
a look at tomorrow's news tonight starts with breaking news out of tripoli. reuters is reporting that moammar gadhafi's voice has just been heard on a radio broadcast claiming today's withdrawal from his compound in tripoli was a tactical move. he is vowing death or victory in the fight against what he called aggression. in another breaking news story, the head of fema, federal emergency management agency, says the entire east coast of the united states should be on alert for hurricane irene. the problem is forecasters aren't sure where it will make landfall. fortunately, we have cnn's
meteorologist chad myers who's never wrong and is going to tell us exactly where irene is going to land and how big she is. >> i will tell you that irene will be between that line and that line. >> thanks. >> and so there's my factor right there. it could be to the left of the center. it could be the right of the center. and that's why they call it a cone. not every computer model is perfect. we run about 20 of them and then we kind of add them up and divide by 20 and see what we think. the problem is i don't believe it will hit florida and that's a great thing, but there's going to be 125-mile-per-hour hurricane off the coast of florida. so, if you can imagine the wave action, the erosion, the flooding from the waves coming onshore and then the people trying to go out there and surf in it. so we'll lose people because of riptides, rip currents, you'll just have to be careful even without a direct hit in florida. and then we get that cone, although it gets wider here, it does look like there's at least a 50/50 chance if not more of
making landfall in north carolina. and then another scary part, there could be a second landfall in the northeast. there's the storm right now. it's 90 miles per hour. i just checked the aircraft, the reconkocon is in it, that means planes, the hurricane hunter flying in it right now, and they are finding it. it is much stronger than 90 miles per hour. so, probably by 11:00 tonight, maybe even 8:00, it will be back up to a category 2 from 1 where it is now. 100-mile-per-hour storm and 125-mile-per-hour storm right over nassau in the bahamas. that could really do damage to the bahamas. a glancing blow to the carolinas and then the problem is that's an 85-mile-per-hour potential storm over new jersey by saturday or sunday. that's the second landfall that we hope doesn't happen. candy? >> cnn meteorologist, chad myers, i bet we'll be talking to you again tomorrow. thanks very much. >> i think you're right. after the break, we'll discuss the future of libya without moammar gadhafi. anderson cooper joins us next. [ barks ]
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> "anderson cooper 360" is coming up at the top of the hour which is why we have anderson here with a preview. >> we'll have the latest on the earthquake that shook up a lot of people on the east coast today. we'll have more obviously on the breaking news out of libya at 8:00 p.m., we're also live at 10:00 p.m. eastern, two hours live of "360."
the fight is still not over in gadhafi's compound. >> just got a gunfire incoming over our head. >> you have a tracer behind you. >> reporter: we've got gunfire behind us and they are hitting the water tanks and the areas, so we've got to go. >> that's cnn's sara sidner ass sun set in tripoli. a live report ahead. the other battle raging at the airport, our arwa damon was there. >> reporter: the fight is intense, but we also must note a lot is outgoing fire. this is the rebels literally unleashing everything that they have right now around them. and what they believe is the gadhafi's forces advance, because they are they say incredibly worried should any of the incoming artillery rounds hit one of the airplanes, it could cause an essentially massive devastating explosion. they also say they are trying to preserve locations like the airport as much as they possibly can. >> candy, we'll have all the latest from tripoli. it's remarkable to talk to
people in tripoli who for the first time in 42 years say that they are tasting freedom on the cusp of freedom. it's a remarkable moment to witness. we'll have all of it at 8:00. >> it is. it's a fascinating watch, that's for sure, anderson. see you at the top of the hour. we're hearing reports of pockets of fire in tripoli, even though rebel fighters captured moammar gadhafi's compound, reuters said gadhafi went on the radio calling death or victory in the fight. and we turn to two experts, nicholas burns and now teaches at harvard, and with us dartmouth college professor dirk vanderwall, the author of "a history of libya." the ivy league is well represented here tonight. gentlemen, let me start with you, nick, a senior nato official saying it's almost over. i'm wondering how, looking at it from afar, how close you think we are to the end of this. >> well, candy, it looks like
gadhafi intends to fight on, but he's on the run. he's lost his base of power. his security and police forces have literally melted away, so it's hard to believe that he can sustain a counteroffensive against the rebels for a considerable period of time. he's essentially lost this war. and i think it's probably only a matter of days, perhaps a little bit more than that, before he's apprehended and the remainder of his family are apprehended and brought to justice. i think the rebel alliance is going to have to complete that task, but they're quickly going to have to turn to the transition as well, because they have enormous challenges ahead of them. >> and you've talked about this, i think in your book, we saw the looting and the lawlessness in tripoli today, a lot of this just exuberance which you can understand after the four decades we've been talking about. but you know, as well as anybody, who have written about the fact that gadhafi intentionally weakened every institution in the entire
country save himself so that this kind of rebellion would be difficult. how difficult is that task for these rebels to now get it together and run a country? >> well, i think it's probably exceedingly difficult, in part because as you just said, this is a regime that has very systematically destroyed any kind of group, any kind of organization, any civil society group, and that in any way could have political power. and so when you think back, libya as a modern state has never really been unified in a true way, the way that we in the west think of modern states and modern nations. and that means effectively that the transitional council is starting almost from scratch. and will have to build up very carefully bit by bit and the institutions of a modern state. having to do so while also making sure that some of the bloodletting doesn't get out of
hand. that all the other challenges that modern states face can be met. and at the same time, it will also have to guard that as oil money comes back into the country, that that isn't used again the way gadhafi used it to very carefully develop a system of patronage that effectively allowed him to divide and rule the country for 42 years. >> nick, scale of 1 to 10, how -- i know you're very 10 hopeful, but how realistic is it to believe that they can pull this off anytime, you know, soon, what, a year, two years, three years? it's going to take a long time, but there's so much doubt i think now when what comes next phase happens. >> well, i agree very much with professor vandewalle, we'll only see gradual, fitful progress, if there is to be progress, in building a modern state. in building a state that's more-free, that's more
democratic. they'll need a lot of help. because libya although it has vast oil wealth, has a lot of poor people in it. the cities have been destroyed as we talked about the last few days on this program. so, i think it will be incumbent on the arab neighbors particularly the gulf countries to help as well as the european allies. the united states can be expected to lead -- to participate, but i really think the other two countries, southern europe and the arab states, are in a better place to do so. and i think, scandy, this to me speaks to vindication of sorts for president obama. he was severely criticized by the republican party, some of the democratic party, for going into libya. criticized on constitutional grounds. they said his strategy wouldn't work. it did work. and i think if you take the obama strategy now and push it forward, it will really put the lion's share of the burden of responsibility on the europeans and the arab states to help the libyan people to move forward and to build a better state than gadhafi had ever intended to build. >> professor, quickly, we have
less than a minute left with you, what do you think these rebels need most from the outside world? is it expertise? is it money? what do they need most? >> well, i think they need both at this particular point in time. they need money for the first phase of the rebuilding of the country obviously. but then the oil money from their own oil will come in very quickly. so, that will not be needed in the long run. but beyond that, i think they need an enormous amount of expertise for the political reconstruction of the country, and political reconstruction of the company, the economic reconstruction for a number of issues involving human rights and areas beyond that. so i think -- and this is really ab area where the international community will and can have an enormous impact to create a very new libya and the libya we saw under mohammed al gadhafi. >> thank you so much, professor vandewalle and nik burns, as
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unlike iraq, we saw the rebel's military calling on the people of libya to behave. and cnn's fareed zakaria is here to talk things over. fareed, i have to tell you, i'm hearing lots of comparisons, and i think this is a visual, between iraq and libya. simply because when we watched iraq unfold in the early days, we saw all that jubilation in the streets, and people standing, having their picture taken by the downed statue of saddam hussein. we see libyan rebels in the compound, and we see all of this taken out of the compound, all of this ammo. is this cause for concern? >> it's cause for concern, candy, but i think the libyan opposition, far more than the bush administration learned the lessons of iraq, if you listen to what they are saying, it's
clear they watched what happened in iraq and are trying very hard not to follow that pattern. they say we're not going to disband the army and police. not going to disband the bureaucracy. no debaathification. they are asking soldiers not to engage in reprizal killings, reprisals of any kinds. looting. it will be more successful in some areas, less successful in others. if you look at the transition council and the signals it's putting out, they are exactly the opposite of what we did. you remember when the looting took place in iraq, donald rumsfeld was asked, was he concerned? and he said, no. stuff happens. the transition council in libya seems determined to make sure stuff doesn't just happen. >> what's next for the rebels? let's assume gahdafi is killed or captured. those are scenarios that take two different dregzs. let's assume he's taken care of.
what's next for the rebels? what is the role for the u.s. do you think? >> i think what the rebels have to figure out is how they can come together in some kind of broad, national umbrella, how to make a link, if you will, between the transition council which is out there in benghazi and a group of former officials mostly, and the people on the street fighting. what is the connection? who will give orders? who will obey those orders? there isn't kind of a link as of yet that is very clear and a chain of command and that needs to happen, because the crucial thing that has to happen now is the establishment of order. you know, we often forget in the united states because we've had order that this is the most difficult thing for -- in any society is not the kind of government have you, but the degree of government you have. do you actually have a government that can establish order that can, you know, make sure that people can go out at night? can get their kids to school?
that's the principal task. i think in in immediate phase, we don't have a very big role. we will urge, as president obama has, inclusion, stability, things like that if and when they can get order, then comes the post war rebuilding and that's where the united states i think and other countries can play a crucial role. >> and when you look at this, and i've asked this to several people over the past couple of days. when you look at what happened here in libya and the role the u.s. played, is this a one off? is this a scenario, and is this a policy that the u.s. took that can only work in libya? or does it have broader implications? >> i think it actually has significant implications. it might be a new model for american foreign policy, because what we decided to do in this case was just accurately gauge what our interests were, not get caught up in the rhetoric of the moment. not get caught up in the
idealism of the moment and as robert gates said at the start, in libya is not a vital national interest of the united states. that means the stakes for us are limited, so the means will be limited. we'll put some constraints, some limits on the kind of costs we're willing to bear, and the operation has to have some crucial ingredients. they have to be local forces willing to do it the arab league has to endorse it so we have regional legitimacy. we have to have legal authority and the europeans have to be able to do genuine multilateralism and burden sharing. that's a very interesting model where the united states plays a pivotal role. only we have the ability to render libya's air power null and void within three days, but it's a model which allows us to actually be part of a coalition to get genuine burden sharing, to get legitimacy. no cries of western imperialism th